'This Week' Transcript: Sens. Leahy and Hatch

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that comes back to, Gwen, the social issues. The Republicans can unify around a lot of the economic issues, around the principle of liberty. But when you bring the social issues to the table, gay marriage, abortion, the environment to some extent, that's where a lot of the young Republicans are saying, we have to have more moderation here.

IFILL: Well, and that's where the danger of those five words that George was talking about comes, because it doesn't -- there's not a period after Congress shall make no law. It continues. And -- I spent the past week in St. Louis, talking to people who kind of aren't in our bubble and are watching this very carefully, and who didn't necessarily vote for Barack Obama. I mean, Missouri is the one battleground state he didn't win. And they seem to be really patient with the possibility of government's role.

Now, they're a little nervous about the deficits, a lot of folks. They're a little nervous about the spending, but they are also saying, completely in sync with the polls we've been reading, that they think maybe this might work, or they don't know where else to go. But I don't think telling these people that we're going to say no to everything, to every possible solution is the message that Republicans really mean to send.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the president's solutions that's not so popular is one that he had to deal with this week, and that was the bankruptcy of Chrysler, and the president seemed quite defensive about the fact that the government was taking so many -- such a large stake in so many private businesses at his press conference on Wednesday, and he was actually asked about what kind of a shareholder he would be.


OBAMA: I don't want to run auto companies. I don't want to run banks. I've got two wars I've got to run already. But I know that if the Japanese can design an affordable, well-designed hybrid, then doggone it, the American people should be able to do the same. So my job is to ask the auto industry, why is it you guys can't do this?


WILL: I assume the president is talking about the Prius. It's affordable because Toyota sells it at a loss, and it can afford to sell it at a loss because it is selling twice as many gas-guzzling pickup trucks of the sort our president detests. So as an auto executive, he's off to a rocky start.

Let me ask people around this -- this question. If the UAW will own 39 percent of General Motors and the government is going to own 50 percent, how do you negotiate? You've got a government in part elected by the UAW negotiating with the UAW? And then there's Chrysler. If Chrysler is going to be owned 55 percent by the UAW, is the UAW on both sides of the table when they negotiate a contract?

KRUGMAN: Well, this is ultimately -- all of this is going to depend on the continuing inflow of money from Washington, so ultimately, you know, the government is the shareholder. And that's the point in a way.

Now, in a way, that's probably going to ensure tougher bargains, because this is tremendously unpopular. Nobody wants to do that.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The president will drive a hard bargain. The UAW had to give a lot of concessions.

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